Friday, March 02, 2018

The Power of Exercise

The biggest difference anybody can make in their own lives is to exercise -- because that is invariably the person they are.  Nothing else is possible.  You are what you do, and if you don't do anything, the results are obvious.  That doesn't mean that a person has to climb Mt. Everest (or the peak of their choice) to prove they are fit -- or die trying to do so. 

One just has to be able to do everything they normally do -- as best as they can, and maintain those capabilities as long as they live.  That's really a simple task -- made difficult by doing otherwise.  Usually, they get distracted onto doing things that subvert that health and well-being -- with the rationalization that it doesn't make a difference.  Thus they are convinced, and convince themselves, that things that matter, don't -- with disastrous consequences to follow.  For a while, they say they should have known better, but after a while, they make no pretense for falling apart -- with no will or skill to make it otherwise. 

Then the worst just happens -- and they are powerless to do anything about it.  For a few, that is the beginning of the end -- of increasing hopelessness and despair, and the feeling that they will ever master and be in control of their lives again -- as they might once as a young person believed.  Now those dreams are over, and they can only look forward to diminishing health and well-being -- because it is "too late" to do anything about it.  But so was every moment before then.  That is their conditioning, that is the "shape" they are in.  It is both physical and mental, and their whole adaptation to life.  That is the person they've become.

So how can one NOT become that person?  That is the difference between those who are succeeding and those who are failing at life.  One is the master of their own destiny, while the other is the victim in every other's path.  For these latter individuals, life is more about what others can do for them, and less about what they can do for themselves.  Inevitably, there is very little they can do for themselves -- which is the skill set they never acquired some time in their lives -- having missed the whole point of what life was all about.  They never matured, and blossomed into a free and independent person -- at some point in their lives, and preferably, in the best years of their life.

For most, that is the golden years, and the golden age -- of when they do.  Instead, they were too busy chasing finish lines and fulfilling bucket lists -- to have remained at home, taking care of business -- and all those housekeeping chores that the wise build their lives upon.  They were out chasing fame and fortune -- at least in their own minds, while their own foundations were crashing down upon them.  One wondered -- when if ever, they would ever awaken to that awareness -- which was the only thing separating them from the happy outcome they sought, while choosing to chase the wrong things -- even if only because "everybody" else seemed to. 

But was that truly "everybody else," or merely the false idols held up before them? -- all seeking that same, elusive fame and fortune? -- they would give everything they had, until they had no more to give.  Still, they could replenish the well -- if only they knew how.  That was not something they thought important to learn -- as they were confident there was always more where that came from.  In that way, the best often become the last -- trailing badly as they limp and hobble their way to the end -- thinking they would always maintain their advantage at the head of the pack.  They only knew how to win -- and when the winning stopped, they had no idea what to do -- and so they perished, or merely shrank into a shell of themselves -- rather than reaching a higher level with every passing phase.

Such people, only want to stay young forever -- rather than growing into each successive stage.  Those were the best years of their lives -- that they now merely want to relive forever -- even if only in their own minds.  Far better would it be for them to exercise the best version of their present selves -- as though that was all that really mattered.  That doesn't mean simply repeating the past -- as though that was the only thing that mattered.  Surely what matters now, just as any other time in the past, is finding out what one's present (actual) capabilities are -- whatever that might be. 

That knowing and discovery, is what is important -- at any stage, and condition.  That is discovering "reality," and to know that, is worth all one's fantasies -- no matter how lavish and glorious one thinks they used to be. 


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